Der Klimawandel

pp 327-345

Social Capital, Collective Action, and Adaptation to Climate Change

  • W. Neil Adger

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The effects of observed and future changes in climate are spatially and socially differentiated. The impacts of future changes will be felt particularly by resource-dependent communities through a multitude of primary and secondary effects cascading through natural and social systems. Given that the world is increasingly faced with risks of climate change that are at the boundaries of human experience3, there is an urgent need to learn from past and present adaptation strategies to understand both the processes by which adaptation takes place and the limitations of the various agents of change – states, markets, and civil society – in these processes. Societies have inherent capacities to adapt to climate change. In this article, I argue that these capacities are bound up in their ability to act collectively.